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Taronta Sharond Clayton

A Mableton drug trafficker, already a multi-time felon, will serve 20 years in prison after his latest conviction, Cobb Acting District Attorney John Melvin announced Friday.

On Thursday, 41-year-old Taronta Sharond Clayton, also known as Toronto Clayton, pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in illegal drugs and one count of the sale of cocaine.

The transactions, investigated by a Georgia Bureau of Investigation task force, occurred on two occasions last September at Clayton’s Mableton Parkway apartment, according to Kim Isaza, spokesperson for the Cobb District Attorney’s office. During the first sale, Clayton sold 4.5 grams of heroin to a GBI agent working undercover; a common user quantity of heroin is one-tenth of a gram. A few weeks later, Clayton sold 7 grams of heroin and 2 grams of cocaine.

“It’s shocking how many people in our community suffer or know someone who suffers from addiction to opioids and narcotics,” Assistant District Attorney Shep Orlow said in a news release Friday morning. “The heroin this defendant sold to undercover law enforcement officers could have reached and destroyed more than 100 lives.”

Cobb Superior Court Judge Gregory Poole sentenced Clayton as a recidivist to 40 years, with 20 years to serve in prison and the rest on probation. Due to Clayton’s seven prior felony convictions — in Fulton County for possession and distribution of cocaine, robbery, and firearms possession, and in Cobb for possession of cocaine — he will not be eligible for parole for 20 years, according to Isaza.

Poole also imposed a fine of $100,000.

“Hopefully, the strong sentence imposed by Judge Poole will serve as (a) deterrent to drug dealers who want to peddle their poison in Cobb County,” Orlow added.

Marietta attorney Keith Olmert represented Clayton, who has remained in custody since October.

Follow Jon Gargis on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JonGargis.

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